Dave and Issy Sheehan

DaveandIssy

Dave and Issy Sheehan

Former TravelPod Member: the.sheehan
Joined: June 22nd, 2015

We live in Melbourne, Australia, with our three offspring Scott, Emma and Troy, Coco the dog, and cats Sidney and Chilli. As at 2015 our offspring have all left school and should, in theory at least, be capable of fending for themselves, so as long as they don't kill each other or burn the house down, we can now happily trip off into the sunset.

Issy was born in Malta. She came to Australia with her family when she was four, and as at early 2015 she's never been back.

I was born in London to Australian parents who met on a cruise ship, got married in England, had me, and then turned around and came home. I come from a long line of enthusiastic travellers, and was fortunate to have travelled a lot when I was growing up. My maternal great grandfather was a published travel writer, and even managed to die on a ship cruising to Noumea way back in 1933.



Middle East » Oman » Muscat June 23rd 2019

This morning we have booked a half day tour of Muscat town. We are met by our guide who introduces himself as Hamid. First stop is the very imposing Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, which was opened in 2001. The mosque has five minarets, a ladies mosque with capacity of 750, and a main hall which can cater for up to 6,500 male worshippers. Hamid proudly tells us that if the internal courtyards and corridors are included, its total capacity is 20,000. He preempts our question as to why the capacity for female worshippers is so much less than that for the men, by telling us that the ladies are not expected to attend the mosque as frequently so that they can be at home looking after their children and performing domestic duties. The main hall is ... read more
Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque
Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque
Main hall, Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque

Middle East » Oman » Ash Sharqiya June 22nd 2019

Today we have booked a full day tour to the Wahiba Sands and Wadi Bani Khalid, both of which are around 200 km south east of Muscat. Our guide for the day introduces himself as Ahmed, and we head out of town on yet another immaculate six lane highway. We comment to Ahmed on how great we think the roads here are, and he tells us that when the current Sultan came to power in 1970 there were only seven kilometres of sealed roads in the entire country. The previous Sultan, the current Sultan’s father, was very much against development, and was determined to keep Oman isolated from the rest of the world. No one has ever been quite sure why he chose to do this. What has happened since 1970 seems little less than economic ... read more
Bedouin camp, Wahiba Sands
Trinkets, Bedouin camp, Wahiba Sands
Bedouin camp, Wahiba Sands

Middle East » Oman » Muscat » Muttrah June 21st 2019

We’re tired, in the wrong time zone, and the weather app says the temperature “feels like” 43, so we decide to spend most of the day relaxing by the pool and on the beach. As I make my way out of the sea up onto the sand, it’s a bit hard not to notice a crab the size of a small dog. I suspect it wouldn’t have too much trouble chomping off one of my feet with a single snap of one of its gigantic claws, so I decide that maybe that’s enough swimming in the sea for today. I take the opportunity to read up on the history of Muscat. The ever reliable Wikipedia tells us that there’s evidence of a settlement here from as early as 6,000 BC, and it seems that the town ... read more
Foyer of The Chedi Muscat hotel
The Chedi Muscat Hotel
The Chedi Muscat Hotel

Middle East » Oman » Muscat June 20th 2019

We get off our flight from Melbourne at Dubai just after dawn and transfer to another plane for the short flight across to Muscat. Visibility isn’t great, but the views from the plane of the rugged Omani mountains poking up through the haze are mesmerising. The friendly young man in the seat next to us introduces himself as Ali. He tells us that he is from Pakistan, and he is travelling to Muscat to ply his trade as a silversmith. Issy asks him how old he is. He says that he thinks he is twenty, but he might be twenty one. I wonder how it’s possible for someone not to know how old they are. I then remember reading somewhere that it’s not unusual for Pakistani cricketers to burst onto the scene as teenager prodigies, only ... read more

Oceania » Australia » Victoria » Melbourne » Essendon June 19th 2019

We set off on our next great adventure - a lap of the globe. Issy is forever coming up with new ways of making our suitcases stand out while they whizz around the airport carousels with everyone else’s very similar looking baggage. She bought some floral covers for one of our trips but they all got torn. Next were purple lanyards, but they had locks on them and we lost the keys. So for this trip she did what any talented, self respecting artist would do, and painted them, with flowers. Very pretty too. I wonder why no one else has thought to do that. Maybe she’ll start a trend. We are surrounded on our overnight flight to Dubai by the Haileybury College Pipes and Drums Band, who are off to Scotland to compete. Some of ... read more
Issy painted our bags to make them easy to recognise

Asia » Indonesia » Bali » Nusa Dua December 15th 2018

We decide to spend our last few hours here relaxing by the pool. Unlike all the other days we’ve been here there aren’t too many people around today and we have an almost unlimited range of sunlounges to chose from. Just as we get comfortable a middle aged Russian couple takes up residence on the two lounges right next to ours, and both of them immediately start puffing away on their cigarettes. They could have sat just about anywhere else, but no, it had to be right next to us. We move to the other end of the pool. Issy craves one final massage in one of the small huts on the beach front. She is disappointed. She is told that all twelve huts are being held in reserve for a delegation from a tobacco company ... read more

Asia » Indonesia » Bali » Nusa Dua December 14th 2018

We waste most of the morning of our last full day here sleeping, and then set off for reception to see if we can get a late check out tomorrow. We are approached by a young European staff member who speaks to us in a tongue that neither of us can understand. Issy asks him if he can repeat whatever he said in English. The look he gives us suggests that he was speaking English the first time, and perhaps unsurprisingly our request for a late check out is denied. We head back to Bali Collection and hoe into large quantities of pizza and bread at an Italian restaurant. We are sitting right next to a large fan, and when we finish our cans of tonic water the now empty cans start sliding around randomly on ... read more
Nusa Dua by night
Huh?

Asia » Indonesia » Bali » Ubud December 13th 2018

Today we have arranged to meet up with our friends Mark and Jane from Melbourne who are staying in Ubud. They have booked a tour which the brochure they sent us a link to said goes to the Tenenungan Waterfall and then on to Bali Swing, so we decide to meet them at the waterfall. We are picked up from the Sofitel by the same Wayan who took us to Uluwatu Temple earlier in the week. The traffic in Bali is frenetic, but calmly frenetic. If you don’t have right of way it seems that you just nose your way in and the other drivers will accommodate you, and they seem to do so quite happily without threatening violence upon you and your loved ones as would happen if you tried this approach back in Melbourne. ... read more
Tenenungan Waterfall
Tenenungan Waterfall
Tenenungan Waterfall

Asia » Indonesia » Bali » Nusa Dua December 12th 2018

We see signs in the bar telling us that the hotel has a “no straw policy”. This comes as a bit of a surprise as most of the drinks we’ve been served here so far have come complete with thin plastic tubes that seem to fit the definition of the word straw, at least where we come from. That said both Issy and I have commented at various times over the past few days that our straws have split as we’ve tried to use them, and we’ve then had to revert to the time honoured method of lifting the glasses to our lips. I wonder if the hotel has managed to develop biodegradable plastic straws and these are then considered to be consistent with its no straw policy. I think that the world’s oceans would be ... read more
Swimming pool rules
Chinese flag planted on Nusa Dua beach
Nusa Dua beachfront

Asia » Indonesia » Bali » Nusa Dua December 11th 2018

There seems to be a huge focus on celebrating Christmas here in predominantly Hindu Bali. There are Santa Clauses, Christmas trees and every other imaginable type of Christmas decoration everywhere we look, and it feels like Christmas carols are playing constantly from every available speaker on the island. Today we saw a Christmas tree made entirely from full wine bottles. Admittedly a lot of this is probably for the benefit of the tourists, and we haven’t spent enough time away from the tourist centres here yet to know whether it’s more widespread, but even so religious tolerance seems to be well ingrained here in Bali and celebrating each other’s festivals is something that most seem more than happy to do. This is a far cry from the ridiculous lengths to which political correctness has been taken ... read more
Balinese musicians, Nusa Dua
It seems that you can buy almost anything at Bali Collection
The beach club, Nusa Dua




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